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Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]


Read our Abu Dhabi travel guide to help you have an idea with your next journey to this wonderful capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Photo by HISHAM BINSUWAIF CC BY-SA 2.0

Planning to have a journey to the prosperous capital city of the United Arab Emirates? Abu Dhabi is more than just a city of oil and petrol. A lot of things and places can be discovered and explored here. The rich history, culture, and tradition are some of the best examples. If you want a trip that will offer you a combination of modernity and history, Abu Dhabi is the place you should visit. And for that, here’s our Abu Dhabi travel guide to give you a glimpse of what this city has to offer.

Abu Dhabi Travel Guide: Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi, UAE

1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by HISHAM BINSUWAIF CC BY-SA 2.0

It is a compulsory stop for those who visit Abu Dhabi in the UAE. It is a marvelous, imposing, spectacular sumptuous white ultra-white and more, certainly majestic mosque. Inside, you’ll find the largest carpet in the world. One of the undoubtedly unmissable places to visit for those who are in Abu Dhabi. This grand mosque is a masterpiece of religious architecture: perfect in every detail, extremely clean and well-kept.

Suggested Tour: Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque Half-Day Tour from Dubai

2. Louvre Abu Dhabi

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Francisco Anzola CC BY 2.0

The architecture of Nouvelle is breathtakingly beautiful. Combining the curves of the dome and the straight lines of the interior walls, the lightness and elegance, the sunlight, and welcome shade, this is an absolute work of art. Plus the exhibits are arranged very differently than usual, which is very pleasing.

Suggested Tour: Abu Dhabi: Louvre Skip-the-Line Admission Tickets

3. Emirates Palace

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Imad Turk CC BY 2.0

The Emirates Palace is currently a hotel, freely visited by tourists. If the exterior of the structure is already fascinating itself, the interiors are much more so. The structure exudes art, luxury, and money. Experience elegance at Emirates Palace.

Suggested Tour: Abu Dhabi: City Tour with Grand Mosque & Royal Palace Visit

4. Yas Marina Circuit

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Rob Alter CC BY 2.0

This is a nice tour, but not only for racing fans. The tour, which lasts a good 1 1/2 hours, gives a glimpse behind the scenes of the Yas Marina Circuit with a tour of the pit lane, paddock, race control, grandstand, and podium. This is a must-visit, especially for Formula 1 fans.

Suggested Tour: Abu Dhabi: Yas Marina Circuit Venue Tour

5. Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Ankur Panchbudhe CC BY 2.0

Both kids and adults would love their experience here. The structure inside will bring your imagination to another dimension. You will definitely spend many hours here having fun, playing, and full of happiness.

Suggested Tour: Abu Dhabi: Warner Brothers World Ticket and Transfer

6. The Corniche

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Sergei Gussev CC BY 2.0

The Corniche in Abu Dhabi is a long beach promenade with a well-developed walking and cycling path. It can easily be crossed at various points via secured pedestrian and cyclist underpasses. Everything here is clean and well-maintained, perfect for a day of relaxation.

Suggested Tour: Abu Dhabi: City Tour with Grand Mosque & Royal Palace Visit

7. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Aziz J.Hayat CC BY 2.0

See the fastest roller coaster in the world here at the Ferrari World. The park is not one of the largest, but that also makes it very nice to visit. You can walk around almost every toy in half a day.

Suggested Tour: From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Day Tour with Ferrari World Ticket

8. Qasr Al Watan

Visiting Qasr Al Watan is part of a trip to Abu Dhabi. It is a magnificent palace where you feel comfortable. The building is very impressive, not only because of its sheer size but also because of the decorations and history. It almost has the same vibes as the mosque.

Suggested Tour: From Abu Dhabi: Mosque, Qasr Al Watan & Etihad Towers

9. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi

The park itself offers lots of fun for kids and adults. If you don’t feel like going to the beach, the Yas Waterpark has great slides that you’d enjoy.

10. Yas Mall

The Yas Mall is a very nice, clear shopping center with a good combination of shops and many opportunities to eat delicious food. It is very spacious and also offers a number of good restaurant options. Another good thing is it has direct access to Ferrari World.

11. Observation Deck at 300

When the visibility is clear, the Observation Deck at 300 is the best way to see Abu Dhabi from above. It is located in the Etihad Tower and is easily accessible by taxi. Enjoy the panoramic view of Abu Dhabi!

Suggested Tour: Abu Dhabi: Observation Deck at Etihad Towers Entrance Ticket

12. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Alex Keshavjee CC BY-NC 2.0

The falcon hospital, led by a German doctor, offers guided tours through the hospital twice a day. Since the falcons are very important in this region, they are of course the focus. During a visit, you can learn everything about them: from the treatment to the training, posture, etc. If you are interested in the fastest animals in the world, you should definitely go here.

13. Corniche Beach

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by Francesca Bersellini CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When you are at the Corniche you could easily forget that you are in a desert town. If you want to experience swimming in the Persian Gulf, then this is a great and free beach to do it from.

Suggested Tour: Big Bus Classic Abu Dhabi and Dubai Hop-on Hop-off Ticket

14. Marina Mall

Marina Mall is located on a small island and can be reached by bus, taxi, or big bus. The shops don’t differ much from those of the other malls but the mall itself is very nicely decorated and is very easy to explore.

15. Etihad Towers

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]
Photo by mohammed alborum CC BY-SA 2.0

Etihad Towers is a must-visit if you spend a few days in Abu Dhabi. From here, you’ll see a view of the Corniche, Emirates Palace, the Presidential Palace, etc. In addition to the view, there’s an available cocktail and cake that you could also enjoy.

Suggested Tour: From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Mosque, Qasr Al Watan & Etihad Towers

Abu Dhabi Travel Guide: Sample Weekend Itinerary to Abu Dhabi, UAE

Day 1 – Weekend Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE

Emirates Palace – Start your tour by visiting the Emirates Palace. Be amazed by the hotel’s exteriors and interiors. A tour inside is totally worth it.

Louvre Abu Dhabi – The exhibitions at the Louvre Abu Dhabi are enough reasons to visit this place. Plus the building’s architecture is also a must-see.

Yas Marina Circuit – If you’re a fan of Formula 1, you better head your way here. Men or women, most tourists enjoy their time visiting Yas Marina Circuit.

Day 2 – Weekend Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center – You can’t say you went to Abu Dhabi if you will not go here at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center. Everything about this mosque is beautiful. Being one of the most popular and visited tourist destination in Abu Dhabi, a moment spent here is worth it.

Yas Mall – Take the opportunity to go shopping at Yas Mall. You can find almost everything here. And since it has access to Ferrari World, you’d get to visit 2 places easily.

Ferrari World – If you’re fascinated with toys and interested to see the world’s fastest roller coaster, then you’ll enjoy your time here.

Day 3 – Weekend Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE

Qasr Al Watan – With having the same vibes as the mosque, you’d also love wandering around Qasr Al Watan. Its history and architecture are both very interesting.

Etihad Tower – On your last day of touring Abu Dhabi, get to see a full view of the Corniche, Emirates Palace, and the Presidential Palace here at the Etihad Tower.

Abu Dhabi Travel Guide: Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi, UAE

*All prices are subject to change.

Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi if you’re a Backpacker

Top Stars Hotel

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Top Stars Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms and WiFi in the entire hotel. The simply furnished rooms are all fitted with carpeted floors. Each offers a flat-screen TV, a fridge and a safety deposit box. A shower and a toilet are fitted in the bathroom.

Price: Starts at $43 per night for Standard Twin Room – Non-Smoking, add $12 for taxes and charges, but they offer free cancellation.

Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate features 252 individually decorated, modern, spacious and comfortable standard rooms and 42 one-bedroom apartments with kitchen facilities, 24-hour room service, and safety deposit boxes. For entertainment, each room is fitted with a flat-screen LCD TV with satellite channels.

Price: Starts at $44 per night for Standard Twin Room, add $12 for taxes and charges, $15 for breakfast, and it’s non-refundable.

Premier Inn Abu Dhabi Capital Centre

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Premier Inn Abu Dhabi Capital Centre offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. It has a 24-hour front desk and an outdoor pool with sun-loungers. A flat-screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities are in the Capital Centre’s rooms. Each modern room comes with carpeted floors and colorful design.

Price: Starts at $49 per night for Double Room, add $13 for taxes and charges, $16 for breakfast, but they offer free cancellation.

Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi if you’re on a Budget

Al Diar Capital Hotel

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Al Diar Capital Hotel offers spacious rooms and suites with a seating area, a minibar, a private bathroom, and special amenities. Some suites and rooms have a kitchen. Each room and suite is designed in a relaxing ambiance and furnished with high-quality beds.

Price: Starts at $61 per night for Deluxe Double or Twin Room, additional charges may apply, $11 for breakfast (optional), but they offer free cancellation.

Al Diar Dana Hotel 

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Al Diar Dana Hotel offers Spacious and designed in a relaxing ambiance, all suites have a flat-screen TV, DVD, highly comfortable beds, a seating area, a kitchenette, and a private bathroom. Guests can enjoy various dining and entertainment options featuring, a pizzeria, an all-day-dining restaurant, a Sports bar, and a European bar.

Price: Starts at $71 per night for Junior Suite, additional charges may apply, $14 for breakfast, and it’s partially refundable.

Centro Al Manhal by Rotana

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Centro Al Manhal’s spacious rooms have a private bathroom with toiletries and a hairdryer. Each comes with a work desk with a leather chair. Guests can enjoy a 3-course meal at the C.Taste restaurant. Drinks and light snacks are available at the bar.

Price: Starts at $79 per night for Centro Room Twin Bed, add $19 for taxes and charges, $13 for breakfast, but they offer free cancellation.

Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi if you want Luxury

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Shangri-La Hotel, Qarat Al Beri has luxurious rooms decorated in a modern Arabic style with warm, rich colors and chic, elegant furnishings. Each room has a balcony or terrace where a view of the garden or Arabian Gulf can be seen. Shangri-La offers several dining options such as Shang Palace, where authentic Chinese cuisine is served, and Bord Eau, where French delicacies can be enjoyed.

Price: Starts at $231 per night for Deluxe King Room, add $51 for taxes and charges, $33 for breakfast, but they offer free cancellation.

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

This modern hotel is part of the iconic 5-tower complex in Abu Dhabi. Guests can enjoy free access to one of Abu Dhabi’s tourist attractions, The Observation Deck at 300. With stylish furnishings and cutting-edge technology, all rooms offer views of the city skyline or the coast. Each includes a flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station. Some rooms include access to the executive lounge.

Price: Starts at $245 per night for Family Suite Panoramic Sea View, add $54 for taxes and charges, $44 for breakfast, but they offer free cancellation.

Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island – Ultra All Inclusive

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Rixos Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi offers an onsite spa, fitness center, pristine private beach, water park, or wave pool. At the hotel, every room is equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Some rooms include a kitchenette with a fridge. All guest rooms at Rixos Saadiyat Island feature air conditioning and a wardrobe. At Rixos Saadiyat the “All-inclusive” concept includes all meals, snacks, and drinks throughout the day.

Price: Starts at $350 per night for Deluxe Twin Room with Garden View, add $54 for taxes and charges, all-inclusive meals & drinks, and they offer free cancellation.

Abu Dhabi Travel Guide: List of restaurants that you can try while in Abu Dhabi, UAE

1. The Terrace On The Corniche

Great service, friendly atmosphere, and great food are what to expect here. As they offer Contemporary, Middle Eastern, and International cuisine, diners have a lot of choices.

Operating hours: 07:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Fri-Sat)
Address: The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche Road Nation Towers, Corniche, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates

2. Madang Korean Restaurant

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

For a full Korean dining experience, Madang Korean Restaurant is the place to be. The restaurant’s surrounding is positioned in a traditional set-up, giving you a perfect experience of eating Korean dishes.

Operating hours: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM (Sun-Sat)
Address: Al Ghazal Golf Club, Near Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 2, Abu Dhabi 133549 United Arab Emirates

3. Cabana Beach Bar & Grill

Serving European cuisine, Cabana Beach Bar & Grill have mouthwatering dishes that customers love. When you dine here, you should try their Buffalo Wings!

Operating hours: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM (Sun-Sat)
Address: Nation Riviera Beach Club, Corniche The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi 60476 United Arab Emirates

4. Kuzbara

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Kuzbara offers both the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Their menu includes meat, pasta, bread and cheese, seafood, salad, sushi, and dessert, you’ll have a lot of food choices!

Operating hours: 06:30 AM – 11:00 PM (Sat-Thu) / 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM (Fri)
Address: Mezzanine Floor, Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates

5. Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes – Yas Mall

Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi, UAE [with Sample Itinerary]

Serving American cuisine, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes can be found in Yas Mall. You can have any burgers of your choice, Korean chicken wings partnered with a shake for a complete meal.

Operating hours: 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM (Sun-Sat)
Address: Yas Mall, Ground Level, adjacent to Ferrari World Entrance, Abu Dhabi 51133 United Arab Emirates

And that’s our Abu Dhabi travel guide for you! We hope we’re able to give you enough insights about this city. Have you been here? Or are you planning to go here? Share with us your experience!

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About the Writer

Fatima Turla2Hi there! I’m Fatima. My first major travel was in 2016 in the beautiful city of Cebu. After that, I got interested in traveling. Now I enjoy learning languages and other country’s cultures. My goal is to visit at least one country each year and to share my experiences with other people through writing or blogging. Witness my journey by following me on Instagram.​





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